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Technical Paper

An Immersive Vehicle-in-the-Loop VR Platform for Evaluating Human-to-Autonomous Vehicle Interactions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0143
The deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world scenarios requires thorough testing to ensure sufficient safety levels. Driving simulators have proven to be useful testbeds for assisted and autonomous driving functionalities but may fail to capture all the nuances of real-world conditions. In this paper, we present a snapshot of the design and evaluation using a Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control application of virtual reality platform currently in development at our institution. The platform is designed so to: allow for incorporating live real-world driving data into the simulation, enabling Vehicle-in-the-Loop testing of autonomous driving behaviors and providing us with a useful mean to evaluate the human factor in the autonomous vehicle context.
Technical Paper

Student Concept Vehicle: Development and Usability of an Innovative Holographic User Interface Concept and a Novel Parking Assistance System Concept

2019-04-02
2019-01-0396
The Deep Orange program is a concept vehicle development program focused on providing hands-on experience in design, engineering, prototyping and production planning as part of students’ two-year MS graduate education. Throughout this project, the team was challenged to create innovative concepts during the ideation phase as part of building the running vehicle. This paper describes the usability studies performed on two of the vehicle concepts that require driver interaction. One concept is a human machine interface (HMI) that uses a holographic companion that can act as a concierge for all functions of the vehicle. After creating a prototype using existing technologies and developing a user interface controlled by hand gestures, a usability study was completed with older adults. The results suggest the input method was not intuitive. Participants demonstrated better performance with tasks using discrete hand motions in comparison to those that required continuous motions.
Technical Paper

Design of a Portable Thermoelectric Convective Cooling System for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and Other Applications

2019-04-02
2019-01-0499
Automotive technology is increasingly reliant on electrically driven accessories, systems, and payloads thanks to the rising popularity of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Solid state and similar purely electrical solutions such as thermoelectric devices are eminently preferable sources for thermal management in neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and similar short-range automobiles which often do not come stock with a climate control system. Directed convection strategies such as zone cooling using DC electric current are a natural fit for the infinitely scalable thermal control architecture possible with thermoelectrics. One such prototype device, actuated by thermoelectric devices, has been developed to meet a variety of thermal management needs with a versatile, portable system suitable for NEVs, micro cars without air conditioning, or even more specialized cooling needs.
Technical Paper

A Systems Approach in Developing an Ultralightweight Outside Mounted Rearview Mirror Using Discontinuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics

2019-04-02
2019-01-1124
Fuel efficiency improvement in automobiles has been a topic of great interest over the past few years, especially with the introduction of the new CAFE 2025 standards. Although there are multiple ways of improving the fuel efficiency of an automobile, lightweighting is one of the most common approaches taken by many automotive manufacturers. Lightweighting is even more significant in electric vehicles as it directly affects the range of the vehicle. Amidst this context of lightweighting, the use of composite materials as alternatives to metals has been proven in the past to help achieve substantial weight reduction. The focus of using composites for weight reduction has however been typically limited to major structural components, such as BiW and closures, due to high material costs. Secondary structural components which contribute approximately 30% of the vehicle weight are usually neglected by these weight reduction studies.
Technical Paper

An Innovative Electric Motor Cooling System for Hybrid Vehicles - Model and Test

2019-04-02
2019-01-1076
Enhanced electric motor performance in transportation vehicles can improve system reliability and durability over rigorous operating cycles. The design of innovative heat rejection strategies in electric motors can minimize cooling power consumption and associated noise generation while offering configuration flexibility. This study investigates an innovative electric motor cooling strategy through bench top thermal testing on an emulated electric motor. The system design includes passive (e.g., heat pipes) cooling as the primary heat rejection pathway with supplemental conventional cooling using a variable speed coolant pump and radiator fan(s). The integrated thermal structure, “cradle”, transfers heat from the motor shell towards an end plate for heat dissipation to the ambient surroundings or transmission to an external thermal bus to remote heat exchanger.
Technical Paper

Trust-Based Control and Scheduling for UGV Platoon under Cyber Attacks

2019-04-02
2019-01-1077
Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) may encounter difficulties accommodating environmental uncertainties and system degradations during harsh conditions. However, human experience and onboard intelligence can may help mitigate such cases. Unfortunately, human operators have cognition limits when directly supervising multiple UGVs. Ideally, an automated decision aid can be designed that empowers the human operator to supervise the UGVs. In this paper, we consider a connected UGV platoon under cyber attacks that may disrupt safety and degrade performance. An observer-based resilient control strategy is designed to mitigate the effects of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) cyber attacks. In addition, each UGV generates both internal and external evaluations based on the platoons performance metrics. A cloud-based trust-based information management system collects these evaluations to detect abnormal UGV platoon behaviors.
Technical Paper

A Voice and Pointing Gesture Interaction System for On-Route Update of Autonomous Vehicles’ Path

2019-04-02
2019-01-0679
This paper describes the development and simulation of a voice and pointing gesture interaction system for on-route update of autonomous vehicles’ path. The objective of this research is to provide users of autonomous vehicles a human vehicle interaction mode that enables them to make and communicate spontaneous decisions to the autonomous car, modifying its pre-defined autonomous route in real-time. For example, similar to giving directions to a taxi driver, a user will be able to tell the car «Stop there» or «Take that exit». In this way, the user control/spontaneity vs interaction flexibility dilemma that current autonomous vehicle concepts have, could be solved, potentially increasing the user acceptance of this technology. The system was designed following a level structured state machine approach. The simulations were developed using MATLAB and VREP, a robotics simulation platform, which has accurate vehicle and sensor models.
Technical Paper

Use of Cellphones as Alternative Driver Inputs in Passenger Vehicles

2019-04-02
2019-01-1239
Automotive drive-by-wire systems have enabled greater mobility options for individuals with physical disabilities. To further expand the driving paradigm, a need exists to consider an alternative vehicle steering mechanism to meet specific needs and constraints. In this study, a cellphone steering controller was investigated using a fixed-base driving simulator. The cellphone incorporated the direction control of the vehicle through roll motion, as well as the brake and throttle functionality through pitch motion, a design that can assist disabled drivers by excluding extensive arm and leg movements. Human test subjects evaluated the cellphone with conventional vehicle control strategy through a series of roadway maneuvers. Specifically, two distinctive driving situations were studied: a) obstacle avoidance test, and b) city road traveling test. A conventional steering wheel with self-centering force feedback tuning was used for all the driving events for comparison.
Technical Paper

Real-Time Reinforcement Learning Optimized Energy Management for a 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle

2019-04-02
2019-01-1208
Energy management of hybrid vehicle has been a widely researched area. Strategies like dynamic programming (DP), equivalent consumption minimization strategy (ECMS), Pontryagin’s minimum principle (PMP) are well analyzed in literatures. However, the adaptive optimization work is still lacking, especially for reinforcement learning (RL). In this paper, Q-learning, as one of the model-free reinforcement learning method, is implemented in a mid-size 48V mild parallel hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) framework to optimize the fuel economy. Different from other RL work in HEV, this paper only considers vehicle speed and vehicle torque demand as the Q-learning states. SOC is not included for the reduction of state dimension. This paper focuses on showing that the EMS with non-SOC state vectors are capable of controlling the vehicle and outputting satisfactory results. Electric motor torque demand is chosen as action.
Technical Paper

A Heuristic Supervisory Controller for a 48V Hybrid Electric Vehicle Considering Fuel Economy and Battery Aging

2019-01-15
2019-01-0079
Most studies on supervisory controllers of hybrid electric vehicles consider only fuel economy in the objective function. Taking into consideration the importance of the energy storage system health and its impact on the vehicle’s functionality, cost, and warranty, recent studies have included battery degradation as the second objective function by proposing different energy management strategies and battery life estimation methods. In this paper, a rule-based supervisory controller is proposed that splits the torque demand based not only on fuel consumption, but also on the battery capacity fade using the concept of severity factor. For this aim, the severity factor is calculated at each time step of a driving cycle using a look-up table with three different inputs including c-rate, working temperature, and state of charge of the battery. The capacity loss of the battery is then calculated using a semi-empirical capacity fade model.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of CarFit® Criteria Compliance and Knowledge of Seat Adjustment

2018-04-03
2018-01-1314
Improper fit in a vehicle will affect a driver’s ability to reach the steering wheel and pedals, view the roadway and instrument gauges, and allow vehicle safety features to protect the driver during a crash. CarFit® is a community outreach program to educate older drivers on proper “fit” within their personal vehicle. A subset of measurements from CarFit® were used to quantify the “fit” of 97 older drivers over 60 and 20 younger drivers, ages 30-39, in their personal vehicles. Binary, logistic regression was used to assess the likelihood of drivers meeting the CarFit® measurement criteria prior to and after CarFit® education. The results showed older drivers were five times more likely than younger drivers to meet the CarFit® criteria for line of sight above the steering wheel, suggesting that younger drivers would also benefit from CarFit® education.
Technical Paper

A User-Centered Design Exploration of Fully Autonomous Vehicles’ Passenger Compartments for At-Risk Populations

2018-04-03
2018-01-1318
Autonomous vehicles have the potential to provide mobility to individuals who experience transportation disadvantages due to the inability to drive as a result of physical, cognitive or visual limitations/impairments as well as able-bodied individuals with no/limited desire to drive. Individuals who do not have easy access to transportation have social, academic, health, and career disadvantages in comparison to their peers. Fully autonomous vehicles have the potential to offer mobility solutions to these individuals. A user-centered design approach was utilized by a multidisciplinary team of engineers, human factors specialists, and designers to develop future vehicle features for a broad range of users.
Technical Paper

Handling Deviation for Autonomous Vehicles after Learning from Small Dataset

2018-04-03
2018-01-1091
Learning only from a small set of examples remains a huge challenge in machine learning. Despite recent breakthroughs in the applications of neural networks, the applicability of these techniques has been limited by the requirement for large amounts of training data. What’s more, the standard supervised machine learning method does not provide a satisfactory solution for learning new concepts from little data. However, the ability to learn enough information from few samples has been demonstrated in humans. This suggests that humans may make use of prior knowledge of a previously learned model when learning new ones on a small amount of training examples. In the area of autonomous driving, the model learns to drive the vehicle with training data from humans, and most machine learning based control algorithms require training on very large datasets. Collecting and constructing training data set takes a huge amount of time and needs specific knowledge to gather relevant information.
Journal Article

An Integrated Cooling System for Hybrid Electric Vehicle Motors: Design and Simulation

2018-04-03
2018-01-1108
Hybrid electric vehicles offer the advantages of reduced emissions and greater travel range in comparison to conventional and electric ground vehicles. Regardless of propulsion strategy, efficient cooling of electric motors remains an open challenge due to the operating cycles and ambient conditions. The onboard thermal management system must remove the generated heat so that the motors and other vehicle components operate within their designed temperature ranges. In this article, an integrated thermal structure, or cradle, is designed to efficiently transfer heat within the motor housing to the end plates for transmission to an external heat exchanger. A radial array of heat pipes function as an efficient thermal connector between the motor and heat connector, or thermal bus, depending on the configuration. Cooling performance has been evaluated for various driving cycles.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Alternative Steering Devices with Adjustable Haptic Feedback for Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous Vehicles

2018-04-03
2018-01-0572
Emerging autonomous driving technologies, with emergency navigating capabilities, necessitates innovative vehicle steering methods for operators during unanticipated scenarios. A reconfigurable “plug and play” steering system paradigm enables lateral control from any seating position in the vehicle’s interior. When required, drivers may access a stowed steering input device, establish communications with the vehicle steering subsystem, and provide direct wheel commands. Accordingly, the provision of haptic steering cues and lane keeping assistance to navigate roadways will be helpful. In this study, various steering devices have been investigated which offer reconfigurability and haptic feedback to create a flexible driving environment. A joystick and a robotic arm that offer multiple degrees of freedom were compared to a conventional steering wheel.
Technical Paper

Control Optimization of a Charge Sustaining Hybrid Powertrain for Motorsports

2018-04-03
2018-01-0416
The automotive industry is aggressively pursuing fuel efficiency improvements through hybridization of production vehicles, and there are an increasing number of racing series adopting similar architectures to maintain relevance with current passenger car trends. Hybrid powertrains offer both performance and fuel economy benefits in a motorsport setting, but they greatly increase control complexity and add additional degrees of freedom to the design optimization process. The increased complexity creates opportunity for performance gains, but simulation based tools are necessary since hybrid powertrain design and control strategies are closely coupled and their optimal interactions are not straightforward to predict. One optimization-related advantage that motorsports applications have over production vehicles is that the power demand of circuit racing has strong repeatability due to the nature of the track and the professional skill-level of the driver.
Technical Paper

VoGe: A Voice and Gesture System for Interacting with Autonomous Cars

2017-03-28
2017-01-0068
In the next 20 years fully autonomous vehicles are expected to be in the market. The advance on their development is creating paradigm shifts on different automotive related research areas. Vehicle interiors design and human vehicle interaction are evolving to enable interaction flexibility inside the cars. However, most of today’s vehicle manufacturers’ autonomous car concepts maintain the steering wheel as a control element. While this approach allows the driver to take over the vehicle route if needed, it causes a constraint in the previously mentioned interaction flexibility. Other approaches, such as the one proposed by Google, enable interaction flexibility by removing the steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals. However, this prevents the users to take control over the vehicle route if needed, not allowing them to make on-route spontaneous decisions, such as stopping at a specific point of interest.
Technical Paper

Teaching Autonomous Vehicles How to Drive under Sensing Exceptions by Human Driving Demonstrations

2017-03-28
2017-01-0070
Autonomous driving technologies can provide better safety, comfort and efficiency for future transportation systems. Most research in this area has mainly been focused on developing sensing and control approaches to achieve various autonomous driving functions. Very little of this research, however, has studied how to efficiently handle sensing exceptions. A simple exception measured by any of the sensors may lead to failures in autonomous driving functions. The autonomous vehicles are then supposed to be sent back to manufacturers for repair, which takes both time and money. This paper introduces an efficient approach to make human drivers able to online teach autonomous vehicles to drive under sensing exceptions. A human-vehicle teaching-and-learning framework for autonomous driving is proposed and the human teaching and vehicle learning processes for handling sensing exceptions in autonomous vehicles are designed in detail.
Journal Article

Control of a Thermoelectric Cooling System for Vehicle Components and Payloads - Theory and Test

2017-03-28
2017-01-0126
Hybrid vehicle embedded systems and payloads require progressively more accurate and versatile thermal control mechanisms and strategies capable of withstanding harsh environments and increasing power density. The division of the cargo and passenger compartments into convective thermal zones which are independently managed can lead to a manageable temperature control problem. This study investigates the performance of a Peltier-effect thermoelectric zone cooling system to regulate the temperature of target objects (e.g., electronic controllers, auxiliary computer equipment, etc) within ground vehicles. Multiple thermoelectric cooling modules (TEC) are integrated with convective cooling fans to provide chilled air for convective heat transfer from a robust, compact, and solid state device. A series of control strategies have been designed and evaluated to track a prescribed time-varying temperature profile while minimizing power consumption.
Journal Article

A Thermal Bus for Vehicle Cooling Applications - Design and Analysis

2017-03-28
2017-01-0266
Designing an efficient cooling system with low power consumption is of high interest in the automotive engineering community. Heat generated due to the propulsion system and the on-board electronics in ground vehicles must be dissipated to avoid exceeding component temperature limits. In addition, proper thermal management will offer improved system durability and efficiency while providing a flexible, modular, and reduced weight structure. Traditional cooling systems are effective but they typically require high energy consumption which provides motivation for a paradigm shift. This study will examine the integration of passive heat rejection pathways in ground vehicle cooling systems using a “thermal bus”. Potential solutions include heat pipes and composite fibers with high thermal properties and light weight properties to move heat from the source to ambient surroundings.
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